Base building for Ironman Mont Tremblant starts on Monday. I’ve found myself reflecting on my past Ironman journey and training regiment. Some 18 months or so later, the day is still so vivid. While the sights, sounds, and emotions are fresh in my mind from that specific day at Ironman Lake Placid 2017, I find my memories going back even further. It’s taking me back to when this process started and it had nothing to do with triathlon. I had no clue what Ironman even was, but little did I know at the time that triathlon would save my life.
Where my journey started
I made a promise to myself that I’d start living healthier after my mother’s breast cancer diagnosis in 2014. I was overweight, unhappy, and settling for one job after another with no real desire or direction. But what started out as a goal for myself later blossomed into a passion for endurance sports and helping others realize the freedoms in life that triathlon has afforded me.
When my weight loss journey started in the spring of 2014 I didn’t know what triathlon was. I was lifting weights and eating enough protein per week to feed an entire village. Over the course of two years I had conditioned my body to adapt, recover, and be stronger than I ever thought possible. The kid who had been made fun of for being fat since high school was lean, athletic, and by all accounts “jacked!”
With my mother’s ongoing fight with breast cancer fueling my thirst for knowledge and adventure, I never shied away from challenges. Spartan Races, military fit tests, push up contests, you name it. If strength and mental toughness were essential skills, I was signing up.
That ambition changed my life forever in the summer of 2016 - July 4th weekend in the Adirondack Mountains backpacking New York’s High Peaks region. After a grueling few days in the forest, our group settled into Lake Placid for a day or two of relaxation. While walking the village we saw dozens of athletes swimming in Mirror Lake, cycling through town and running along the water.
I asked one of them what they were all doing. “Ironman is in a few weeks. Our last big workout’s this weekend,” she said. To which I replied, “What’s an Ironman?” She smiled and explained, “A triathlon. 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run.” My first thought was, “I could do that,” then we carried on with our relaxation.
Wouldn’t you know it, the next day back at the gym a friend of mine, out of the blue, says he’s thinking about doing an Ironman and would I like to join him? Without hesitation I said yes and the rest his history.
Nutrition and triathlon coach; small business owner
My wife and I launched our own nutrition coaching business shortly thereafter. We’ve been helping clients through weight loss and muscle building programs. Our triathletes have excelled in the sport in recent years, taking podium spots and first out of the water recognition. This is all while raising our one-year-old daughter, being coaching mothers, fathers, and busy professionals.
The importance of prioritization is the backbone of my coaching philosophy. Without support from those closest to you you’ll never reach your full potential. That’s why I reach out to the important people in our client’s lives to keep them informed and reassure them this athletic pursuit won’t be at their expense.
So as I begin my base training for another attempt at 140.6 miles I find it necessary to reflect on where things began. Not so much so that I can look back and reminisce, but more so that I can look forward. What’s done is done. 11:55:56 at IMLP is a forever memory, but I can’t allow the euphoria of that day to make me complacent. So I must continue to work. I must continue to nurture that passion; feed that fire that burns my desire to be a better father, husband, coach, business owner, friend, and triathlete.